My takeaways from Justin Kan’s Guide.
I love learning from top practitioners at any given skill and there’s never a boring day if you are keen on being a student.
Today, I chanced upon an interesting well-being guide on Twitter originally published by Justin Kan, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of Twitch (earlier Justin.tv) which was sold to Amazon for $900m.
I enjoyed reading his authentic take and his honesty in admitting he’s still a novice experimenting with this self-care methodology. I believe this is a growing trend in our times where so many extremely successful people are realizing how mindfulness, happiness and inner peace are outside of your material possessions.
There’s a case to be made on how this “self actualization” trend could inspire a new generation of well-being products both online and offline. There’s already a heavy market for meditation apps like Calm, Headspace (which he references) and Simple Habit (the one I use daily). There’s never been such a high percentage of vegan/vegetarian lifestyle products in our history than in just the last decade. Big tech companies like Apple have joined in the party (through their launch of features like “Screen Time” that highlights how much time you are spending on the devices you own). I think this is going to be an interesting business space for future products. I’m particularly interested in this as I myself am a firm believer in meditation and mindfulness practices. Anyway, back to the guide.
Below are my top take-aways:
“Explicit gratitude is important because it helps re-contextualize the short term negative things that happen to you throughout the day in the greater context of all the positives in your life.” I’ve been practicing this gratitude journal habit since about 2 months now. I can’t stress how invaluable the exercise has been in improving my mood at the beginning of the day.
“After using the journal app for six months, I decided to create a gratitude master list, which is basically a google doc listing out all the things I was grateful for (I thought of 58), all the lucky breaks I’ve gotten to get where I am, and what the Justin of 1, 2, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago would have thought if he knew where I am now. I try to look at this list occasionally for additional re-contextualization of my present state. “ I haven’t tried this yet but seems like a beautiful way to always remember all the grateful things from the past and never lose context.
“I try to actively remind myself that attachment to outcomes (future successes, or even things staying the same as they are now) will only cause my own suffering. Of course, this is very hard to actively hold in your mind. “ This advice right here is one of my favorite pieces about this entire guide. Justin admits how hard it is to keep an active mind trying to do this but part of being an ambitious achiever is walking this fine path between action and results without wavering. It is quite incredible to however see that even the top 1% entrepreneurs (I’d consider Justin as one) also feel the same way about attachment as I do. A lot of Buddhist books tell you about this mindset. Just do your action and move on to the next without any attachment to the outcome. It is definitely challenging but quite surely the path to avoid suffering.
Since the evolution of mankind, 100 billion human beings have walked the Earth. If you are reading this, you are likely in the top 1% by any measure: opportunity, security, happiness. In fact, you might be in the top 0.1% or every 0.01%. What incredible good fortune. What an amazing opportunity. You are truly among the blessed.” Once again, a fantastic reminder that you are a masterpiece but also a fading star in this universe. What matters is just staying in the now and enjoying your precious gift called life.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the guide and I’d love to read more of his reflections if he wishes to publish them soon.
What are your thoughts? What are your favorite pieces in the guide?